The Brand

Founded in 1968, New York is a biweekly magazine about life, culture, politics, and style. Since its brand relaunch in 2004, New York Magazine has won more National Magazine awards than any other publication. Over time, New York Media has grown to include NY Magazine, Vulture, The Cut, and Grub Street which collectively receive over 30 million users a month.

App Downloads

App Downloads

Display Marketing


Paid Social Marketing

Paid Social

Search Engine Marketing / PPC


Search Engine Optimization


The Challenge

As readers are given more and more free digital options publishers have seen sharp declines in subscription readership. New York Magazine has adapted its offering to include digital subscriptions, but new subscription growth rate stagnated over the past 5 years. New York Magazine had tried with various consultants, vendors, and internal staff to create a digital ecosystem that found new subscribers with limited success. Often channels were not creating an ideal customer journey with disjointed messaging, landing pages, and lacking proper tracking. AKDM was tasked to create a marketing plan ecosystem and strategy that would increase subscribers and maintain a low cost per acquisition.

The Strategy

The strategy launched by AKDM began by researching the target audiences and arranging data about the content they read into meaningful insights. Based on these findings, AKDM developed a detailed creative and messaging strategy, and organized a channel-by-channel direct response marketing plan designed to meet all of New York Magazine's KPIs. A key component to making the media plan successful was aligning creative with content consumption, so we outlined an approach that mapped creative assets to consumers' interests, thereby improving the relevancy of these ads. The program was also designed in a way that could be executed internally by the New York Magazine team, saving on layers of costs with external vendors that were not hitting their requirements.

The Results

The program was launched in November of 2017, just in time for holiday gifting. Channels ramped up quickly and AKDM is currently working with, and training, the New York Magazine team to optimize each channel. The team saw immediate improvements in campaign performance, allowing them to quickly scale their program. Between January and February 2018, New York Magazine was able to double their media spend while increasing subscriptions 110% and reducing Cost Per Subscriptions by 5%.